We are working to support young people with hearing impairments by equipping them with vocational skills specifically culinary skills, to begin with. This is aimed at providing economic independence through the training, followed by reintegration into their hearing communities to showcase their skills and to work independently as entrepreneurs in hearing environments.
Let me take you on a journey on why we are doing this
77% of Uganda’s population is below 25 years yet the country has one of the highest unemployment rates at 83% - youths actively seeking employment as a percentage of the labour force – in Sub-Saharan Africa. The youth prominence and increased levels of unemployment is an appeal for action along with innovative solutions. With this in mind, the levels of unemployment increase for individuals with disabilities. Neglect of disabled individuals in Uganda due to poverty levels continue to be prevalent.
A marginalised group is deaf people who are also considered a curse amongst society. People who are unable to communicate and are deaf in Uganda are known as ‘Kigala’, and ‘Kasiru’ which translates to ‘Stupid’ in English. . This is often accelerated by community beliefs as they may blame parents their child’s disability. The stigma continues as deaf people are not considered useful to their society as a result of the limited communication with others. This discrimination towards the vulnerable population is further presented through their lack of nurture, education and thus employment.
What are we doing about it?
We are working with a team in Uganda who are hearing, to support the deaf in attaining skills and applying them to achieve long term work within their local communities. All team members are to learn sign language in order to support our belief that inclusivity is achievable. We believe that showcasing our deaf apprentices working alongside hearing team members committed to inclusivity will be a window of opportunity to give the public momentum to join our cause and raise awareness of the needs of the deaf community and the value of learning sign language.
We are looking to give the young people opportunities beyond the school environment. Few deaf people are given the opportunity to experience primary and secondary education. We are aiming to exceed regular education by supporting their employment. As unemployment continues to rise among hearing individuals as well as the stigma towards those who are deaf, we want to create an environment which raises awareness of our apprentices’ skills whilst showcasing this practically.
Our vision is to seek to empower young people who are deaf in Uganda through equipping them with vocational skills and showcasing their successes to achieve financial independence and entrepreneurship.
We have four goals and our ultimate outcome is to see financially independent young people as the products of our organisation.
- Equip apprentices through tailored vocational and entrepreneurial training in culinary arts.
- Awareness of the apprentices’ skill set within their communities in order to support financial independence through long term employment in hearing environments.
- Advocacy for change in perception of the apprentices’ abilities and skills through campaigns on social media, rallies and marches, fundraising activities all to reduce stigmatisation.
- Expansion of services and reach of a wider group of people across the country to meet the needs of the communities in more rural areas.
How can you get involved?
We are a small group of individuals working towards a united goal – making a change to the levels of deaf youth who are unemployed in Uganda. We offer our time, skills and resources to achieve our goal and make an impact. Without the middle-men and offices we are able to ensure that costs for the cause are met. We need you to join with us to achieve this goal. Every pound given to our cause will be going to support the team in Uganda to achieve our mission.
We are looking to raise £15,000
40% Building – We need a permanent location to offer our apprentices stability in their learning especially in the beginning of their training. Therefore 40% of the funds will be used to build and furnish our permanent base location in Mende, Uganda.
30% Sign language classes – All apprentices and employees will be trained to sign from the beginning. Individuals with signing skills will support those without signing skills however; formal classes will also be initiated as part of the learning process.
30% Operational costs – The running of the programme in Uganda will be financially supported by our cause to ensure apprentices are facilitated for travel, lunch and other essential needs for their learning.